The outlook for tourism in Montgomery County in 2017 is bright, according to information compiled by the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB).
The VFTCB cites an estimated $25 million spent in 2016 in refreshes to a cross-section of the county’s 74 hotels. Improvements included refreshes to rooms, restaurants, meeting space, fitness centers, and lobbies.
And aiding in the booking of those rooms are a number of new tourism draws that add to the assets enthusiastically marketed by the VFTCB.
- iFLY King of Prussia, which offers the thrill of indoor skydiving without the bravery required to actually step out of a plane in flight.
- Two new additions to Valley Forge National Historical Park: Sullivan’s Bridge, a scenic entryway for walkers, runners, and cyclists, and Fort Moore, a recreated defensive structure on the Muhlenberg Brigade.
- Escape Room Mysteries in King of Prussia. This new activity for groups requires ingenuity, collaboration and a little bit of luck to gain freedom – before time runs out.
- The Carousel at Pottstown, a project 16 years in the making. Its 50 wooden animals and two chariots have been painstakingly crafted and are now welcoming kids young and old.
- King of Prussia Mall’s new connector corridor adds an additional 50 stores, a unique array of dining options, a new lobby, a high-tech parking garage, and full concierge service.
- King of Prussia Town Center continues to open in phases. The destination is a residential-retail-restaurant trifecta of open-air attractiveness.
- A new attraction at Arnold’s Family Fun Center provides a unique team-building opportunity, a frightfully engaging twist on laser tag.
- Elmwood Park Zoo is opening Trail of the Jaguar. Designed by the same team that created Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the exhibit mimics the jungles, forests and arroyos of these animals’ natural habitat.
- LEGOLAND Plymouth Meeting will bring 33,000 square feet of creative play for novices and Master Builders alike.
These experiences and more are foundational to the new VFTCB website, which replaces traditional photography with extensive use of video.
“All our marketing and sales efforts foot to our website,” said Edward Harris, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “It is the resource for leisure travelers, sports tournament organizers, group tour planners, brides and grooms, history buffs – really, for anyone searching for something fun to do or interesting to experience.
“The design of the new ValleyForge.org draws visitors in through its extensive use of video, which has proven very successful for the VFTCB recently. Our content won a number of industry awards this year from third-party, nationally focused marketing and communications organizations, and we’re leveraging that quality, skill, and creativity online.”
The new platform also includes social media integration, displaying current images from the VFTCB’s active Instagram account. It also features the latest postings from the organization’s blog, which also has won industry recognition for writing and creativity.
Like its predecessor, the new ValleyForge.org adapts easily to tablet and phone use. The site had 1.4 million pageviews and more than half a million visitors in 2016, up from 2015 stats by 69 percent and 71 percent, respectively.
July 2016 saw the site’s highest monthly traffic, with nearly 300,000 pageviews.